Just checking in quickly. I’m going to go ahead and become a Catholic; I feel God has lead me to this place. Had a long talk with my sponsor over dinner, moving Tennebrae service last night, and and extremely moving Holy Thursday ceremony. I’m a little nervous about confession (I know it’s all confidential, but what will the young Father think of me?)
I am a reformed heroin addict and alcoholic (in that order; thank God, it’s all ancient history now). God opened the doors for me to become a professional musician 8 years ago, after not playing a musical instrument for 42 years. I finally found out what I’m supposed to be doing in this life – thank you, Lord (I got to play Christmas music in the church on Christmas Day). My wife, is joining the Church with me; both of us come from liberal, mainline Protestant backgrounds.
Thanking you again for your prayers and kind words of support; let’s keep in touch.
Hove a wonderful Easter and God bless you,
What a miracle. God does answer our prayers. He loves you so much.
I am sure every priest is thrilled and uplifted when they hear awesome confessions where God has done great things. Where much is forgiven there is great gratitude. You now will want to serve the Creator with all your heart in appreciation for for His gift of salvation.
Being totally free of your sins is a supernatural experience you will cherish for all eternity. Hurray for the Sacrament of Reconciliation where your sins are truly washed away. Also, receiving the real Body and Blood of Jesus is miraculous every time.
Keep me updated on you walk with our Savior. You and your family are now in my prayers for eternity. I look forward to meeting you in Heaven. (-: Ralph
Catechumen: I could use your help about now. Debating whether I should join the church or drop out. I read some horrible description of hell here by one Sister Seraphina. If all those horrors are real, here’s a thought: Satan is the CEO of hell – but God created it.
Yes, the loving God who’s supposed to be so merciful. When Lucifer and the fallen angels rebelled, God cast them into hell – which He created. I mean, God could have just snuffed Satan out, right? But, no, an eternity of cruel punishments was in store for unredeemed sinners. How can you love God if you’re afraid He’s going to send you to hell? I can’t.
Moment of temptation last night I was at a bar and a young female gave me some bear hugs and cheek kisses that were at the “outer limits” of the usual friendly hugs. Fantasies driving home; I couldn’t pray, ditto this morning.
Nothing really happened – though I certainly didn’t tell my wife about it. I’m so *&%$!! up, no self control. And I’m supposed to read something at the Tennebrae service on Wednesday.
We have a young, very devout priest here. I’m afraid I’ll hurt his feelings by dropping out. My wife is entering the Church, too, but not struggling like I am. I can’t talk to her anymore about it.
Dear Catechumen, Yes, you have come to the right place. Although, it did take me a while to find the email because Satan made sure it was delivered directly to my spam folder.
The important thing to remember is you do not have to battle your sins alone. God, the Blessed Mother, your own personal guardian angel and all the angels and saints in heaven will help you. I will have an army of Catholic Prayer Warriors praying for you starting today.
You and your family are now included in my daily rosaries, prayers, mass attendance and Eucharistic Adoration. When you have many people and the angels and saints praying for you, God’s grace really helps you overcome the huge temptations Satan throws your way.
Now, let’s discuss Hell: Hell is a frightening place. I also read Sister Seraphina’s experience in hell and many others. You can read her experience of hell on the website.
Yikes! None of us want to go there for even one second. Hell is everything heaven is not.
Most of the humans in hell chose to believe it was only some wacky, imaginary fairy tale created evil church leaders to inspire guilt and fear. They lived their lives accordingly.
In the bible it says, “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” Proverbs 1:7.
It is a mistake to not fear God because He also is a God of justice. Humans have a choice…to accept God as their creator or reject Him.
Hell is the absence of God and all good. When we reject God and His laws, we receive the consequences of our choices. I am sure you have experienced the suffering that comes when we are separated from God’s goodness by our sins and lack of repentance.
The angels are very different from humans because they are immortal beings. They have existed from the beginning of time and live forever.
It is important to remember that Satan was God’s greatest, most beautiful and intelligent creation who had free will. Satan was filled with pride. He wanted to be equal with God and have the other angels worship him.
When Satan and the angels sinned against God, He created a temporary and permanent place for them to go when they were banished from heaven. Initially, they were cast down to earth. Satan and his demons were the rulers of earth until Jesus died on the cross, totally defeating Satan and his demons.
Hell is their final resting place. When Jesus comes again, (He is coming back only once), He will judge the world and everyone in it, specifically the humans, living and dead.
Satan and the demons have already been judged but are allowed by God to tempt humans to reject God and become gods themselves until the end of the world. Satan and the demons will be cast down into hell permanently at the end of time.
After the final judgment, they will have no ability inflict pain and suffering on humans, except those who choose to go to hell because of their refusal to ask God for the strength and courage to repent of their sins.
The concept that is important for me to constantly remember is that there is no true love when you don’t have the freedom to choose.
God did not create robots who had no choice but to love Him. He created creatures, the angels and humans, with free will so we could choose to love Him as our Creator or reject Him and be gods ourselves.
New lets discuss God’s Grace: God is loving, kind, merciful and extremely long-suffering. I personally deserve to be burning is hell, but God had mercy on me and saved my soul. He gave me the free gift of grace that allowed me to repent of my sins and turn away from the temptations that caused me to fall into sin.
Now, I immerse myself in the means of grace as often as possible. The most important ones are Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Praying the rosary and going to Eucharistic Adoration is a huge help.
I am severely tempted every day to sin but with an abundance of God’s grace, I am able to resist temptation most of the time. When I do sin, I ask God for forgiveness immediately and go to Reconciliation as soon as possible.
I can totally relate to your temptations. I am at the point where I now focus on woman’s eyes and face rather than on her body. You discover so much about a person when you focus on their facial expressions. I strive to see each woman as a reflection of our Blessed Mother.
The major problem is that we were born in original sin, thanks to Adam and Eve who wanted to be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil. Unfortunately, to be a knowledgeable god, you must personally experience both good and evil. Most of us reject God and His laws that He gave us for our own good. We want, what we want, when we want it. We are selfish to the core.
All the laws of the universe are cause and effect. If you put your hand on a hot stove, you will be burned. Wisdom is not continuing to touch the burning stove. It comes with experience.
Sin is the similar to putting our hand on a burning stove, except the pain gets less each time we touch the stove. It is like leprosy. The parts touching the stove go numb and we don’t even realize we are sinning.
The sins become part of our life process. We come to enjoy and protect our sins, hide them from others. But, soon we become slaves to the sins we cherish.
That is why it is so hard to repent of our sins and ask forgiveness. We resent God for not letting us be equals.
We refuse to accept that we are created beings and that God created us. It infuriates us no end that we cannot have everything we want and do anything without consequences.
Hubris is an all consuming emotion. Total selfishness and arrogant pride harms all the people in our lives. Our family members and friends stop loving us when we are the only person we love.
Only God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness makes it possible to repent and humble ourselves before God. We can ask God for His grace and mercy anytime we want.
We cannot fight temptations without His help and the prayers of others. We all need a strong group of two other brothers to walk the pathway to salvation together.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Ultimately, God is love, kind, compassionate and forgiving. He also lets us know there are consequences for our actions. He is long-suffering and still loves us when we sin.
He offers us mercy and forgiveness only for a certain amount of time. Then, He gives us an eternity of what we love. Hell is the total absence of God’s love, compassion, forgiveness, grace, mercy, hope, light, etc.
Perhaps you could set up an appointment with your young priest so you can share your conflicts and doubts with him. We all experienced the same thing when God was calling us to a loving relationship with Him.
I am sure he has heard your story so many times in the past. It is the life journey of us all before we came to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. (-: